Titans Offensive Quarterly Evaluations
Here is a look at each position on the Tennessee Titans offense and an evaluation of each.
Marcus Mariota- Grade C. He hasn’t been as good as in prior years. The new receiving corps and nuances of the offense appear to be taking their toll. He only has three touchdowns over four games. Mariota is a special player that will surely improve as the season wears on.
Matt Cassel- Grade: F. Cassel has thrown 4 completions and two interceptions. His quarterback rating is 8.3.
DeMarco Murray- Grade D. Murray only has one game with more than 50 yards. If we were to take away his 75 yard scamper, Murray would only have 140 yards over four games. A common byproduct of a player sitting out (much of) preseason is a hesitance when the season begins. Murray has been “guilty” of this. The talent is clearly still there, so it seems that he will perform well now that he is “warmed up.” Preseason serves a purpose and teams need to get players some reps.
Derrick Henry- Grade A. Henry has been a hammer out of the backfield. He has played some fullback and lined up as a wide receiver some too. When Henry comes into the game, he has provided a good spark for the Titans offense. Henry has been excellent as a backup. If Murray doesn’t improve, Henry could replace him in 2017.
David Fluellen- Grade B. Fluellen committed a couple penalties that were dopey but otherwise has performed well. ZERO people are asking what happened to Antonio Andrews. Kudos to Fluellen for that.
Jalston Fowler- Grade A. Last year’s top-rated fullback continues to excel in 2017. As has been the case since “day one,” it continues to be curious why the Titans don’t play him more.
Rishard Matthews- Grade A. He continues to be one of the most dependable third-down targets in the NFL. His blocking has been solid and he’s even shown some breakaway ability this season.
Eric Decker- Grade C. Decker has struggled most of 2017. The passes often seem forced to him. This is another player that would have benefitted from more preseason action. When he’s comfy he is smooth. He uses his body very well to “box out” defenders and expertly taps his toes. He will have to develop a rapport with Mariota….yesterday.
Taywan Taylor- Grade B. He has only played 68 snaps. The Titans clearly use him as a fourth or fifth option. On many occasions, Mariota isn’t even looking his way. Seven receptions isn’t enough. The Titans have utilized Taylor in the backfield and on reverses. When Mariota and Decker aren’t clicking, they should utilize Taylor more. The only issue here is his lack of production which really isn’t his fault when he is clearly a low-end option.
Corey Davis- Grade A. The rookie phenom was everything he was “advertised” to be. He has only played in one game and part of another. The frequency with which he is injured is concerning…today. As his career moves forward, this will just become a rookie that had a couple injuries. The Terrell Owens comparison works well for Davis. He appears to have an athletic advantage over every cornerback he faces.
Delanie Walker- Grade A. Walker has been his usual pro-bowl self. He appears faster in 2017 and his blocking has improved.
Jonnu Smith- Grade A. What a fantastic rookie. He already seems to be one of the best blockers on the run in the NFL. He has an excellent ability to “hit” a player and then keep moving on- on an extended play, Smith could block 2-4 offensive players. As a rarely used receiver, he has been reliable and shown good hands. The rook has also lined up wide and as a fullback, so he has clearly learned the Titans offense well.
Phillip Supernaw- Grade A. Supernaw was not supposed to be a rarely used tight end. He improved his blocking dramatically and has done well with his limited opportunities. Like Taylor and Fowler, playing Supernaw more is an option for the Titans stagnant offense.
The best in football. Jack Conklin hasn’t dominated his defender as he did in 2016, but he has done well. Conklin has only allowed a half sack. His penalty per game average needs to be cleaned up, but he is still playing at a high level. PFF rated Josh Kline as one of the best linemen in football recently. The Titans supposed weak link has stepped his game way up. Taylor Lewan continues to be a stud that anchors the line. Quinton Spain seems like he will always be the least appreciated guard in football. Through 25 games, Spain has only allowed 2.5 sacks- zero in 2017. Ben Jones has had some stellar moments this year. Offensive coordinator Terry Robiske has included more motion and pulling with the line this year. These big fellows get “fired up” when they’re on the run and it seems to be working well.
The Titans offense is such a deep group that many of us had grand expectations for them this season. It appears that the first four weeks have been the Titans working out some kinks and going through some growing pains. The expectations haven’t faded. Look for the offense to explode over the next 12 weeks. Until that time, Robiske must be willing to sub in players for those that are struggling.
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